NASA: 60-foot asteroid whizzing towards Earth at 21600 kmph! Dangerous rock will come on August 16

Asteroid 2022 PJ1 to pass Earth on August 16 at a distance of 4.23 million kilometers.

| Updated on: Aug 15 2022, 18:15 IST
Asteroid fun facts in pics: NASA reveals all you need to know
1/5 Space is full of objects, out of which only a few have been discovered. Asteroids are some of these objects. If you are not aware about the dangerous objects called asteroids, here are some facts you should know. First, did you know that asteroids are sometimes called minor planets? Well, they are. (Pixabay)
2/5 Differences between an Asteroid, Comet, Meteoroid, Meteor and Meteorite: According to the information provided by NASA, Asteroid is a relatively small, inactive, rocky body orbiting the Sun. Comet is a relatively small, at times active, object whose ice can vaporize in sunlight forming an atmosphere (coma) of dust and gas and, sometimes, a tail of dust and/or gas. Meteoroid is a small particle from a comet or asteroid orbiting the Sun. Meteor is the light phenomena which results when a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere and vaporizes, in short, a shooting star. While, Meteorite is a meteoroid that survives its passage through the Earth's atmosphere and lands upon the Earth's surface. (NASA)
3/5 Asteroid: Size, frequency and impact- More than 100 tons of dust and sand sized particles are bombarded towards Earth everyday, according to NASA. While, about once a year, an automobile-sized asteroid hits Earth's atmosphere, creates an impressive fireball, and burns up before reaching the surface. Every 2,000 years or so, a meteoroid the size of a football field hits Earth and causes significant damage to the area. Only once every few million years, an object large enough to threaten Earth's civilization comes along. Impact craters on Earth, the moon and other planetary bodies are evidence of these occurrences. Space rocks smaller than about 25 meters (about 82 feet) will most likely burn up as they enter the Earth's atmosphere and cause little or no damage. By comparison, asteroids that populate the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and pose no threat to Earth, can be as big as 940 kilometers (about 583 miles) across. (NASA)
4/5 How is an Asteroid Orbit Calculated? An asteroid's orbit is computed by finding the elliptical path about the sun that best fits the available observations of the object. That is, the object's computed path about the sun is adjusted until the predictions of where the asteroid should have appeared in the sky at several observed times match the positions where the object was actually observed to be at those same times. (Pixabay)
5/5 What is NASA doing to find and learn more about potentially hazardous asteroids and comets? NASA has established a Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), managed in the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The PDCO ensures the early detection of potentially hazardous objects (PHOs) - asteroids and comets whose orbits are predicted to bring them within 0.05 Astronomical Units of Earth (5 million miles or 8 million kilometers) and of a size large enough to reach Earth's surface - that is, greater than approximately 30 to 50 meters. NASA tracks and characterizes these objects and issues warnings about potential impacts, providing timely and accurate information. NASA also leads the coordination of U.S. Government planning for response to an actual impact threat. (AFP)
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Asteroid PJ1 is heading for Earth at a staggering 21,600 km per hour. (Pixabay)

An asteroid as big as a house is expected to just about miss Earth by a few million miles tomorrow, on August 16. The asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 PJ1 is heading towards Earth at a staggering 21,600 kilometers per Earth! The miss will be a very close pass as, in astronomical terms, this is not at all a large distance.

According to NASA, the asteroid will reportedly fly past Earth on August 16, at 06:59am at a distance of 4.23 million kilometers.

This asteroid is nearly the size of a house. It is confirmed that it belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids which are Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) with perihelion distances less than 1.017 AU, and semi-major axis greater than 1 AU.

According to, this asteroid takes 547 days to complete its one orbit around the Sun. Its orbit's farthest point from the Sun is 247 million kilometers, and the nearest point is 145 million kilometers. It will make its next close pass to Earth on August 04, 2025 at 18.86 million kilometers.

This is not the first time that an asteroid has passed Earth closely this year. Just a couple of weeks ago, an Asteroid named Asteroid 2022 OX3 passed Earth in close proximity at 6:45pm on August 2. Another asteroid named Asteroid 2022 OC4 whizzed past Earth on the same day. Another asteroid named Asteroid 2022 PW is expected to just whizz past Earth tomorrow.

Although you might wonder what would happen if any of them might actually hit Earth someday. Well, NASA has already made preparations for that. NASA is readying itself to potentially defend the planet against a very similar threat that is posed by asteroids. A NASA mission is in the works to deflect an asteroid off the collision course with Earth by smashing a spacecraft into it at a staggering speed of 23,000kph. The mission is named Double Asteroid Detection Test or DART.

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First Published Date: 15 Aug, 18:15 IST